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Service Marketing Scenarios: Why Automated Follow-Ups Work

hand holding a phone with an email reminder displayed on it
Article Highlights:

  • Automatically follow up with customers who leave with declined services.
  • Inconsistent follow-ups can create a gap in your opportunities.

It goes without saying that your service drive is an integral part of what you offer as a dealership. A problem that seems to plague almost every service drive however, is what to do when customers decline the services recommended to them.

Without action, these customers will likely not return for these services, meaning you lose out on profit and your customers may drive in a vehicle that’s not safe.

The best solution is a process that automatically follows up with customers who leave your lot with declined but recommended services. Sending out automated emails and mailers is a solution that works for a variety of customers, each with their own reason to have originally declined the service:


Loyal Levi:

Since purchasing his car from your dealership a few years ago, Levi has regularly returned to your service drive for maintenance. The last time be brought his car in, a technician recommended that Levi get his brakes replaced, but he declined the service.

When Levi checked his inbox a few weeks later, he found an email reminder about his brakes being worn. Upon viewing the email, he checked his schedule and made the appointment. When Levi originally declined the service, he wasn’t driving his car very frequently, so the brakes weren’t a pressing concern to him. Now that he’s planning a trip out-of-town, Levi is a little more motivated to make sure his brakes are reliable. The email he received was just the push he needed to bring his car back in to you.


Forgetful Fiona:

When Fiona last brought her car into the dealership, she was given a list of three different services that would help her car run safer and more efficiently. Fiona declined one of the services recommended to her because it wasn’t an urgent concern, but she accepted the other two. Since Fiona’s visit to your service drive, her car has been running so much better, and she quickly forgets that any other services were even recommended.

A few months later, Fiona receives a postcard in the mail reminding her about the declined service. When Fiona finishes reading her mail, she calls your service drive to schedule an appointment. She even hangs the postcard on her bulletin board to serve as a tangible reminder for her next appointment.


Habitual Harriet:

For the past week, Harriet’s SUV has been shaking when she drives, so she brings it into your service drive. Upon inspection, a technician informs Harriet that the shaking is actually coming from her suspension and wheel bearings going bad. She declines the recommended services, despite the technician’s warnings that driving her vehicle may be unsafe until it is fixed.

When Harriet checks her email the following week, she discovers a message reminding her about the repairs she declined. She was hesitant to complete the repairs at your dealership, since she always goes to the same local mechanic for her major vehicle needs. But, she begins to reconsider this when she reads your email. Harriet feels like a valued service customer because of the follow-up, and more importantly, she feels like your dealership cares about her well-being and safety. She decides to try something new and calls your service drive to schedule an appointment.


Frugal Franklin:

Franklin brought his car in for some warranty work, and a technician found that that his front tires were extremely worn down. It was recommended that Franklin get the tires replaced, but the service was declined.

A few weeks later, Franklin receives a mailer about the recommended replacement, complete with a 10% discount. Franklin had originally planned to get his tires replaced at a nearby tire shop because of their lower pricing, but with the discount he received, the service would cost the same at the dealership. Knowing your technicians will treat his vehicle with care, he chooses to schedule an appointment with your service drive.

People have all sorts of reasons for initially declining a service—from time constraints to forgetfulness to budget restrictions. You might not be able to bring every customer with recommended services back in to your dealership, but inconsistent follow-ups can create a large gap in your service drive’s opportunities. From new customers, to regulars, to sporadic visitors, people in a wide variety of scenarios can appreciate a gentle reminder, and for your dealership, that can mean increased customer loyalty and profits.

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Mollie Swygart is a marketing communications professional at Reynolds and Reynolds. She is an expert on Reynolds’ suite of cutting-edge marketing products, their functionalities, and how they can be utilized to improve dealership success. Mollie received her Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art and English from Marietta College. She also obtained an Associate’s Degree in Marketing from Rhodes State College.

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